University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
University library
"Johann Christian Senckenberg"
University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg - Zentralbibliothek.jpg

The building of the central library designed by Ferdinand Kramer

founding 15th century
Duration 10.18 million media units (2018)
Library type University library
place Frankfurt am Main coordinates: 50 ° 7 ′ 13.4 ″  N , 8 ° 39 ′ 11.2 ″  EWorld icon
Visitor address Bockenheimer Landstrasse 134-138
management Daniela Poth

The Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main is the largest university library in Germany with over ten million media units . It emerged in 2005 from the city ​​and university library, in which several Frankfurt libraries were merged after the Second World War - including the city ​​library and the Rothschild library , which had existed since the 15th century - and the Senckenberg library .


The public library has its roots in an already since the 15th century demonstrable working library of the Council . To accommodate its holdings, the council acquired the Viole house in 1510 , which was part of the Römer's town hall complex . In 1668 it was merged with the library of the barefoot monastery , which was secularized in 1529, in its rooms. In 1825 she moved into a new neo-classical building on the banks of the Main, today's Old City Library .

In 1763 the Frankfurt city ​​physicist Johann Christian Senckenberg donated his scientific library with publications from the fields of medicine , pharmacy and biology to support the training of doctors. On the Foundation's premises at Eschenheimer Tor originated Senckenbergische library , which should not fall under the founder's will to the city.

The City Library, the Rothschild Library and the Senckenberg Library took over the supply of literature for the newly founded University of Frankfurt am Main in 1914 . In 1943/44, the building of the Old City Library was destroyed by aerial bombs in the air raids on Frankfurt am Main . Only a good third of the holdings could be saved by relocating them to Upper Franconia , the rest was destroyed. After the Second World War it was merged with other libraries to form the Frankfurt City and University Library . First she moved into the undamaged Rothschild Palais on Untermainkai, which until then housed the Freiherr Carl von Rothschild public library . Today it is the seat of the Jewish Museum .

In 1964 it was housed together with the Senckenbergische Bibliothek in a new building designed by the university master builder Ferdinand Kramer at the Bockenheimer Warte . The main focus of the city and university library in acquiring and communicating literature was the provision of media for the university; the Senckenbergische Bibliothek mainly acquired medical, scientific and technical literature. Since 2005, the City and University Library and the Senckenberg Library have been combined in the Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library under the sponsorship of the State of Hesse. Due to the relocation of the humanities departments from Bockenheim to the new Westend campus and the natural sciences to the Riedberg campus , the development of the inventory was increasingly transferred to the departmental libraries at the new locations.


The humanities reading room of the central library (2003)

In addition to the central library, several departmental libraries belong to the Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library. The central library, the library of art history / Städel library and Islamic studies as well as the mathematics and computer science library are located on the Bockenheim campus .

The Natural Sciences library is located on the Riedberg campus, the main medical library is located on the Niederrad campus .

There are three departmental libraries on the Westend campus : Law and Economics Library, Social Sciences and Psychology Library, Humanities Library Center.

Archives and collections

Prometheus by Ossip Zadkine in the entrance area of ​​the central library

The library houses, among other things, in the archive center the estates and private libraries of philosophers from the Frankfurt School and Arthur Schopenhauer . In addition, around 3,000 manuscripts , including a good 600 medieval ones , and just under 2,800 incunabula are kept in the manuscript department . Most of these book holdings come from the council library and from the former religious institutions Bartholomäus-Stift , Leonhard-Stift , Dominican monastery and Carmelite monastery . Two codices with particularly valuable ivory bindings are on permanent loan in the Liebieghaus .

The focus of the collection is on Frankfurt prints, linguistics and literary studies , Francofurtensien , intellectual history , social history and contemporary history of the 19th century, Judaica , folklore and ethnology , and Africa south of the Sahara .

Therefore, the University Library Frankfurt supervised following DFG - special collection areas : sub-Saharan Africa, General and Comparative Literature, General and Comparative Linguistics, General Linguistics, Biology, Botany, German, German language and literature, Israel, Judaism, Oceania, Theater and Film Arts, Zoology . The special collection areas were supplemented by four virtual specialist libraries - German Studies on the Net , ilissAfrica , medien buehne film , vifabio . After the DFG stopped funding the special collection areas in the mid-2010s, the university library operates seven specialized information services in the successor program Specialized Information Services for Science (as of March 2018).

The “Collection of Jewish Studies”, which is central to Germany, was founded by Aron Freimann . For decades he was the most important Jewish librarian in Germany and the last chairman of the Jewish community in Frankfurt before the Holocaust .

Cooperations and memberships

The UB is a member of the Hessian Library Information System (HeBIS).

It is one of the six member libraries of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sammlung Deutscher Drucke , in which it is responsible for the period 1801–1870.

Since 1977, a DFG- financed center has been collecting and cataloging manuscripts from various German and foreign libraries in the Frankfurt library. Volumes from Luxembourg are currently being processed there .


The bronze sculpture Prometheus, made by Ossip Zadkine , is located in the entrance area of ​​the library . This figure from Greek mythology, made in 1954, was placed in the hall in 1965. It depicts Prometheus holding fire in his hand to bring it to people.

See also


  • Fabian Wurm: University Library. In: Friends of Frankfurt eV, Wilhelm E. Opatz (ed.): Frankfurt 1960–1969. Architecture guide. Niggli Verlag, Zurich 2016, ISBN 978-3-7212-0943-3 , pp. 74–81.
  • Dugall, Berndt (Ed.): University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg . UB Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main 2013. Also online:

Web links

Commons : Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg Frankfurt am Main: Overview 2018 , accessed on June 4, 2019.
  2. ^ Hermann Traut, The Roman and the New Town Hall Buildings in Frankfurt am Main , Frankfurt am Main 1908, p. 32.
  3. ^ Edith Kießling, The City and University Library Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main 1969, pp. 92–98, 111–113.
  4. Manuscripts and incunabula. Retrieved November 17, 2018 .
  5. Specialized Information Services (FID). Retrieved November 17, 2018 .
  6. ^ Working group for the collection of German prints (AG SDD). Retrieved November 17, 2018 .
  7. Prometheus. In: Art in Public Space Frankfurt. Retrieved November 17, 2018 .